What to do with those Turkey Day leftovers.
Turkey Tetrazzini: it’s like the fruitcake of the world of Thanksgiving leftovers, the casserole that everyone pretends to love on Black Friday. Every other day of the year? Not so much. Google Trends, which graphs the popularity of “turkey tetrazzini” as a search term, makes it pretty obvious. Each spike represents a November of a particular year. (FYI, searches for “turkey” alone follow the same pattern.)
If you were able to drill down into the data, I bet you’d find that all those searches for the noodles-mushrooms-and-turkey casserole don’t start until Thanksgiving dinner ends. Food Network alone has three recipes for tetrazzini, one from Tyler Florence, one from Emeril Lagasse, and one from Ree “Pioneer Woman” Drummond. Tetrazzini is the namesake of Italian opera star Luisa Tetrazzini, according to Wikipedia, but it’s not the only way to repurpose turkey leftovers.
How about wild rice turkey soup? It’s another recipe that spikes every November, but it’s not as old and tired as tetrazzini, which reminds me of those hashbrowns-and-Velveeta casseroles featured in old issues of Woman’s Day or Family Circle.
My recipe comes from Taste of Home, which, I have to admit, is generally a staunch supporter of tater-tot casseroles and condensed soup sauces. Anything that mimics a hamburger, an enchilada, or a lasagna has a permanent spot in the ToH rotation. But enough snobbishness. The wild rice turkey soup recipe was good, so I really shouldn’t be complaining.
The soup managed to incorporate three different leftovers from my family’s Thanksgiving dinner: turkey from (duh) the bird of honor, mushrooms from my stuffed acorn squash, and wild rice from my dad’s signature stuffing. And trust me, there were a lot of mushrooms left over after I practically cleaned out the grocery store’s supply of creminis. (So sue me – my eyeballing and measuring abilities are decidedly subpar.)
If you still have any turkey leftovers – and I know my slowness in posting this has dramatically increased the odds that they’ve already been gobbled up (no pun intended) in a cranberry-sauce sandwich – this is an easy way to use up the greasy Ziploc of bird meat in your refrigerator.
1 cup uncooked wild rice
7 cups chicken broth, divided
1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, diced
3 celery ribs, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground dry mustard
1/2 tsp. savory spice
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 cups shredded cooked turkey
2 cups half-and-half
Cook the rice, either in a rice cooker or on the stove with 3 cups of broth. On the stove, bring to a boil and then simmer for 50-60 minutes or until tender.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter. Saute the mushrooms, onion, celery, and carrots until onions are transparent and vegetables are fork-tender.
Add the flour and seasonings, stirring to make sure it doesn't burn. Pour in four remaining cups of broth and raise to a boil. Cook for two minutes, or until thickened.
Stir in the turkey, half-and-half, and cooked rice. Heat through before serving.
Recipe from Taste of Home